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How not to get a job in Strength and Conditioning

“How can I get a job in strength and conditioning?”

strength and conditioning vacancyIs a question I get asked a lot. Having recently advertised for several positions (paid and unpaid) for strength and conditioning coach, I was appalled at the standard of application.

If you want to get a strength and conditioning interview, then you need to get the application letter correct.

 Here are some of the key errors that were made:

  • Get the name of the employer wrong on the application.
  • Attach a cv which is called “West Ham Football” or “Bristol Rugby” to a job with Excelsior.
  • Failing to write a covering letter which states your reasons for working with the company you are applying for.
  • Applying for a job in the South West of England, then telling me that “they got it wrong on the advert” when you live in Milton Keynes or Sussex and can’t get to the workplace.
  • Turning up to the interview unshaven or with a shirt that is unironed.
  • When asked to prepare for the interview, fail to research the company website.
  • When asked where do you research thoughts and ideas, answer “google” or “youtube“.
  • Over egging coaching experience when talking to a panel with over 100 combined years of experience and you have done 2 hours coaching a week for 6 weeks.
  • Blag your practical skills and miss the key points of what an athlete is doing in front of you.
  • Poor physical demonstrations of simple exercises.
  • Tell your future employer how Olympic Lifts are the best thing since sliced bread as part of your understanding of Long Term Athlete Development.
  • Say your main reason for wanting to work with Excelsior is “to gain access to your contacts” or “to rack up my coaching hours
  • Rely on University lecturers to help you prepare for the workplace, when most of them have never worked with athletes for anything longer than a research study.
  • Calling me “mate”: far too casual approach and symbolic of working only with an immediate peer group.

Luckily the interns I have hired are proving to be pretty good at their jobs (you can see their profiles here, all of whom have got a sports coaching qualification first .

It is a shame that the overall standard was so poor, with such easily rectified mistakes.

If you want to get a job here are 5 tips on getting started in strength and conditioning


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Client Testimonials

Bath University
"James worked with the Exeter and Taunton based Southwest Talent Centre scholarship athletes. He is deeply knowledgeable about strength and conditioning and has excelled at working with young athletes. His sessions are challenging and fun and he has succeeded in blending a group of athletes from a diverse range of sports into a cohesive training group.

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Speed Training for Sports Coaches: Paddington, London
07 Jul 2018

One day speed seminar for sports coaches This one day seminar will help you understand basic speed training principles and give you practical coaching ideas that you can implement with your sports team and players. Athletic Development Coach James Marshall will introduce coaches to fundamental movements and exercises that will translate from track to field/court […]